ISLAMABAD  -  Table-toppers Karachi Region Whites will take on Peshawar Region in the first semifinal of National One-Day Cup Regions 2017-2018 today (Thursday) here at Pindi Stadium.  

Asif Yaqoob and Rashid Riaz will be field umpires while Aziz-ur-Rehman will be match referee and Shakeel Ahmed official scorer. The second semifinal between Rawalpindi and Islamabad will be held on Friday at the same venue. Ahsan Raza and Khalid Mahmood Sr will officiate the match as umpires while M Anees will be match referee and Shakeel Ahmed official scorer. The final will be played on Sunday (February 11) at Pindi Stadium between the winners of both semifinals.  

It is pertinent to mention here that Karachi finished top in the league stages while Rawalpindi grabbed second, Peshawar third and the most astonishing and shocking result was witnessed, when Islamabad bagged fourth place out of nowhere. They inflicted upset and dubious victory on high-flying Peshawar Region, who were unbeatable at Arbab Niaz Stadium, but all of a sudden, they lost the encounter in a highly questionable manner.  

It was also highly strange and never witnessed that top players were allowed to embark on different tours and skipping their respective regions, which cost their regions dearly. Kamran Akmal, Sohail Tanveer, Misbah-ul-Haq and Ahmed Shehzad are a few examples, while PCB looks completely hapless, when it comes to dealing with powerful Islamabad Region former president Shakil Shaikh, who, despite completing third tenure in November last, still calling all the shots and the board seems least bothered to appoint an ad-hoc on Federal Capital and playing into the hands of Shakil, who is free to destroy the careers of many talented youngsters. His sons Arsal Shakih and Shayaan Shakih, despite being super flops, have been playing first class cricket due to their powerful father.  

Shaikl is the only one, who is inducting the players, who have well-passed their peaks and neither had ordinary track records nor selected for their respective regions, but Islamabad is always a safe haven for them. It was time and again brought into the notice of PCB chairman Najam Sethi to ensure merit and treat all regions with same stick, but Islamabad is always an exceptional case, as it seems Sethi doesn’t move when it comes to act in Islamabad.  

It was witnessed in other regions that once the president completed his term, an ad-hoc is imposed without wasting even a day, but despite laps of more than three months, the PCB is still finding it difficult to put an ad-hoc on Islamabad Region. It is hoped that Najam Sethi will finally wake up and without wasting a single day, he will order to implement the rules in Islamabad.